The teams ranked No.1 and No.2 in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings lock horns in the first of a three-match series.
England v India
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Thursday 12 July, 12:30pm local
Given the quality in the batting line-ups of both sides, the number of runs piled on at Trent Bridge in recent times and the heatwave that England has been experiencing, bowlers could be forgiven for feeling a little daunted heading into this fixture.
England have broken the world record for the highest ODI total in each of their two previous innings at the venue, hitting 444/3 against Pakistan in August 2016 and then blitzing that just last month versus Australia when Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales struck centuries in a score of 481/6.
Batsmen on both sides showed they are hitting the ball cleanly in the T20Is that preceded this series, India chasing down 199 with relative ease to secure the series in Bristol on Sunday.
The fact that the No.1 spot in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings is up for grabs has added further spice to this match-up. If India can come away with a 3-0 whitewash – which would be a considerable achievement against an England side who have lost four of their last 21 matches in the 50-over format – then they would leapfrog their opponents at the top of the tree.
Eoin Morgan has indicated that Joe Root will return to the team after being dropped for the final match of the T20I series, leaving England with a selection dilemma. Ben Stokes, who missed the 5-0 ODI whitewash against Australia due to injury, is also expected to be recalled, which begs the question: who misses out?
The question was answered to some extent when Hales suffered a side injury and was ruled out of the match. Dawid Malan has been called up to cover the injured opening batsman but the spot left vacant by Hales is most likely to be filled by Stokes. Jason Roy and Bairstow have been exceptional form, and the injury to Hales may allow England to play three seamers and Adil Rashid, the leg-spinner, with Stokes and Moeen Ali playing as all-rounders.
The conundrum only highlights the wealth of options England have at their disposal and the excellent form of their players.
India also have some tricky selection decisions to make, but it appears likely they will revert to playing the two wrist-spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, after the former was surprisingly dropped for the final T20I, despite taking a five-for in the first match of the series at Old Trafford. India have an injury concern with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has a stiff back.
Like England, India come into this game in superb form, having won their last nine bilateral ODI series.
Something has to give.
Jos Buttler (England): Even by Buttler's exceptionally high standards, he is in rare form. After an eye-catching IPL campaign which helped earn him a Test recall, he has continued to pile on the runs in whatever format he has played. After impressing at the top of the order in England's recent T20 fixtures, the 27-year-old will return to his more familiar middle-order role for this series, looking to further enhance his reputation as arguably the most devastating finisher in the game at present.
Hardik Pandya (India): The 24-year-old all-rounder produced a box-office performance to clinch the T20I series in Bristol, recovering from conceding 22 runs in his first over to finish with career-best figures of 4/38 from his four overs. Then, elevated to bat at No.5 above MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina with the series on the line, he struck 33* from 14 balls to wrap up the match. In this kind of form Pandya looks set for a big tour of England across all formats.
The hot weather in England is set to continue, with temperatures around 25 degrees in Nottingham and no rain in sight.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Mark Wood
India: Virat Kohli (c), Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Siddarth Kaul, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav
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